Wednesday, January 30, 2019

My best Christmas, so far

This is a painting by one of my favorite artists Jorge Coco. Look him up!

I know I am not super creative or very good at writing but I have been thinking for awhile I needed to post about my Christmas. So please forgive my grammar and writing errors.

When I was little the best Christmas meant Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, homemade fudge, making and taking neighbor gifts, watching Christmas shows on TV and getting what I really wanted for Christmas from Santa AND giving meaningful gifts to my family. Of course Jesus was a part of that but not necessarily the focus. If I had grown up in a colder place I would have also included snow for the best Christmas as well. But growing up Christmas didn't usually look like any of that for me, occasionally I got what I really wanted and we did the neighbor gift thing but it was hit and miss the rest of it. And you know that is really okay, my parents did their very best for us and I know that and I appreciate it. Jesus was definitely an important part of our celebration and THAT is the most important part of what my parents did for us at Christmas.

Last fall we had some unfortunate things happen that hurt us financially. We already had some challenges that had come up already so basically our savings was gone. In fact the money we had budgeted for Christmas and other things, gone to these expenses. I had done some Christmas shopping but not for everyone. So Tim and I decided that we wouldn't buy each other anything--well I had already bought him 2 things but nothing more. We sucked it up and were more frugal so we could meet all obligations with no debt. I thought of taking a job since seasonal work was opening up everywhere but I had made commitments to others that I didn't want jeopardize (i.e., watching my grandbaby and my volunteering commitments).  But the real bottom line is I didn't feel like it was what I should do and neither did Tim. We trusted in God because we have been faithful tithe payers and He had always helped us through difficult challenges. Now this doesn't mean I didn't ever get discouraged but you will see overall He did bless us!

Not long after this time was General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The prophet, Russell N. Nelson gave the women of the church an invitation to read  The Book of Mormon  by the end of the year, among other things (here). He asked us to mark/notice where it talks of Christ and share with our families what we are learning about Christ from the Book of Mormon. I read the Book of Mormon everyday, occasionally I might miss but it is such a wonderful part of my daily routine I try not to. It brings peace to me and confidence that everything really is going to be okay and I have noticed if I do it first thing in my day I get way more accomplished. So I stopped where I had been reading and started over. I usually don't read the Book of Mormon that quickly, I am proud to say I read it in a month once because my kids were doing it and I had never done it so I did! Anyway, I figured out if I read 7 pages a day I would finish by the end of the year. So I set out to do it. I got a brand new Book of Mormon and marked it with red pencil.

During this time we did receive tender mercies like a refund for our daughter's surgery from 2 years ago? Coincidence? I think not. And others too many to type here. Then our oven broke the day before Thanksgiving. It was discouraging but we were able to order one but it ended up not being delivered until JANUARY! We used a neighbor's oven to bake Zane's birthday cake. And made do the rest of the time but we tried not to use the stove top because the oven would go on whether or not we had it turned on so we had to turn it off at the breaker. And it was a kiln. It was crazy. But the Christmas cookies and those things didn't happen and we scaled back what we were going to get people for Christmas and extra things we do at Christmas time. Some things I had already bought ahead of our troubles so we kept those things but were very careful. We were able to get things for our kids that we hoped would be meaningful even though it wasn't a lot and they were super great about not asking for anything extravagant. They were really awesome about the whole things. One of the best things is that were all together one last time for who knows how long with missions, people graduating form college etc? During the whole Christmas season I felt so loved and close to my Savior Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I didn't feel worried or pressure to do anything other than love others. So that's what I tried to do and it was the best! It reminded me of my mission when I was teaching people about Christ at Christmas time and that made it my best Christmas until 2018! I know it was the Book of Mormon that made a difference. I was spending more time than normal, especially in December, reading the words of Christ. Feeling the power of that book every day strengthened me in ways I am so grateful. Also people were inspired to bless me and my family in very personal ways. And I did finish the Book of Mormon before the end of the year.

This scripture came to mind when I think of  the blessings we received: "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." 1 Nephi 1:20

So basically my best Christmas, so far is because of The Book of Mormon. I started up from where I had left off before the invitation. I finished again last night. I want you to know that I know that The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Christ. That it supports the Bible in testifying that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament. The world is going a little crazy and reading the Bible and Book of Mormon keep me grounded and at peace. God our Heavenly Father knows each of us, He allows these earthly challenges to happen so we might turn to Him that He might bless us. These challenges in life are to help us become who we are meant to be if choose to learn from them and turn outward like Jesus Christ. He was the perfect example of using challenges to bless others. His atonement and sacrifice make it possible to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father as families. God our Heavenly Father loves all His children, every person is his child, and He has prepared blessings to all who seek Him. If you feel He is distant in your life, please don't give up. Try to put away the distractions: phones, social media, TV etc. Pray and listen and seek Him in the scriptures. I will pray for YOU! I have found Him and His Son there every time and I am no one of particular consequence or importance in the world but I know that I matter to Him and His son and so do YOU! So every year I am going to start over in the Book of Mormon, no matter where I am, in October and finish it before Christmas! And it will be the best Christmas, again, I am sure of it!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Pew Family Year in Review 2018

Pew Family Year in Review 2018

Wow! What a year of ups and downs. But that’s life, right? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have
one thing or more that is a challenge they are dealing with. But one thing that is also consistent is God.
He and His son, Jesus Christ have been there with me all along. Guiding me and lifting me and
bringing me tender mercies that make the challenges bearable. I notice I am a better person for these
challenges. I am developing attributes that I would not have developed otherwise. We lost Tim’s dad in
April. He had had some health challenges so it wasn’t wholly unexpected but still you always hope the
person recovers. It was great to have Tim’s siblings and most of the grandkids here for the funeral.
In July we had a great reunion during the summer at a house in Mapleton with almost all the Gerald
Pew posterity. We bought the Pew, Pew, Pew shirts for that event. Good purchase. My mom had a
pacemaker put in in January. She’s been weak all year and is just now starting to feel less weak but
probably won’t get much stronger than she is. It has been hard for her to limit her activities, she wants
to help everyone and go to everything even though her energy level isn’t there. Some of us were able
to spend time in St. George with her and Jay in August and that was a fun week. We are blessed to
live near family!

Here are some more highlights of each person:

Gwen (12) is in her last year of elementary school, 6th grade.
She’s a great friend to all and a conscientious student.
6th grade Service Club is the highlight of her week.
She loved being in the musicals Mary Poppins and Seussical this year
with the Cedar Hills Youth Theater. She made new friends and
learned to audition even though it caused her great anxiety. She was
super sad when her last show ended. She took a baking
class this summer along with her sewing class. She continues
to take piano and loves learning Christmas music. She’s a
fabulous aunt to Adrian and he has said her name. He's always super happy to see her!
 Zane (15) is in his last year of junior high--9th grade.  He had a blast playing Jr. Jazz with his friends and then playing on the middle school Ultimate Frisbee team  for Lone Peak. They won the state
championship, there wasn’t much competition. He also played on
the high school B team. He missed the state tournament because
he broke his elbow riding a mountain bike for scouts preparing for
their big biking trip through southern Utah in June. That was a
bummer for sure because he couldn’t bike either. He had a nice
bionic brace that was a pretty penny that insurance didn’t cover so
if you need one, we have one. He also sings in choir and plays the
piano. He is the best at being disciplined and we appreciate his diligence in all aspects
of life.
Micah (16-½) is a junior in high school. He got to travel to
Tennessee with his Ultimate Frisbee team for Lone Peak
in February and they had a great tournament. He injured himself
the last day so he had to cheer on their team from the sidelines.
The team only lost one game to the number one team.
Then after a dominating spring they lost a heartbreaker in the
State Championship. He also got injured in that game and
couldn’t play which hurt the team. He was named a second team
all-state player which was a great honor for a sophomore.
He was named a captain which honor usually goes to players
who will be seniors. It’s been a challenge but he’s a good example to his team. He traveled
to Colorado in June with his team and had a blast in a tournament there and exploring
the local sites. He played on the YCC U-20 team for Utah and went to Minnesota
in August. He had a great time and they got 5th place overall which was a great finish. He’s
enjoyed the dances at school: prom in the spring and Sadie's and homecoming this fall.
He also goes on dates besides dances. He’s made some new friends and played flag football
with them and they were in the championship which they lost but c’est la vie. His mixed
(co-ed) Ultimate team won state, Lone Peak took 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 7th out of 16 teams!
He works as a custodian at the elementary school and it’s been a great job, and he refereed
soccer which helped him earned a lot of money for all his traveling. He worked on his Eagle
Scout project in 2017 but was finally able to finish some merit badges and do the paperwork.
He was recognized with Izak in November.

Izak (19-½) graduated last spring from Lone Peak high school. He was
one the captains of his Ultimate Frisbee teams. Micah played with
him. He also enjoyed traveling to Tennessee, Colorado and
Minnesota. He was named first team all state which was a
great honor. He also got injured in the State game which was a
bummer. He got a concussion so they wouldn’t let him play, that
was very disappointing especially since they were winning. He got
a job this summer at CIT electronics and has enjoyed it overall. He
will quit the middle of December as he prepares to leave. He
received his mission call to the Baltimore, Maryland mission and leaves January 9th. He was
able to go through the temple in September before his friends Blake and Jacob left on their
missions. He coached the mixed (co-ed) D team this fall which was a great experience and
he did a good job. He is a little lonely now because most of his friends have left on their
missions. Hopefully the extra time has helped better prepare him for his mission. Izak also
did his Eagle project in 2017 and with some encouragement he got the paperwork done
before he turned 18 so he could get his award. It was a great accomplishment for both him
and Micah! We are so proud of them!
Emily (21) finished out her mission strong as a Sister Training
Leader. She returned in June. She quickly got a job at Vivint which
helped her pay for her tuition. She loves BYU and is enjoying her
classes and her job there helping in the Mathematical and
Sciences department--she helps with marketing by helping
with events the department sponsors. She lives at home and is
saving money to go to Italy. She will be going there in the spring to
nanny”more like an English tutor since her host family has a nanny.
They will provide room & board and a stipend. She will have
some time to travel while there. She is very excited about
the possibilities! She has had a great time attending her local YSA ward. She has made
some great friends. She has also enjoyed having her cousins around from Texas
and Maryland to hang with. She made quick trips to Idaho and Colorado since she’s been
home. She is in a Jujitsu class this semester and is competing in a competition in December.
Should be entertaining!

Timo (24) and his wife Megan (21) are busy with school. He
started the combined Masters/Bachelor’s Applied Stats
program which is 2 years and it’s intense. He finished up a
paid internship this summer doing stats for a company
in South Jordan. He now works at BYU doing a paid
internship with UDOT. Megan is working on her degree at
BYU which is Conservation and Biology. It is also intense.
She works as a TA. They were able to travel to Texas twice last fall, once to see Megan’s
sister graduate from Air Force Boot Camp and another time to visit the people and see
places Timo served his mission. They also did some camping at various places this year.
Taran (25-1/2) went to school full-time last winter
semester at BYU and worked full-time at NuSkin. He
continue to go this winter and still work full-time.
He’s super close to finishing.This fall his wife Lisa (26)
changed her major to graphic design at UVU. Adrian is their
distraction but what a fun distraction! They both seem
to be handling it all well. Taran continues to work on
writing music with friends. Lisa continues to be creative
making all sorts of cool things for example she made lots of macrame wall hangings and
plant hangers to sell at local farmers markets. Adrian is now 1 and has been walking for
awhile. He is busy and curious. He likes being outside. He enjoys watching G-PA (Tim) mow
and me vacuum. He loved playing in the leaves but hasn’t quite embraced the snow. I am
hoping to change that by taking him sledding!

Tim had an amazing time this summer traveling with the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square to various
places on the West Coast. He left on my birthday and came back on our Anniversary! We missed him
but luckily nothing earth shaking happened at home while he was gone. He still works at Family Search
in the QA department he is a manager but don’t ask him to fix anything because he works on the digital
document aspect. He still plays tennis as often as possible and basketball at lunch. He stays busy going
to the kids’ various activities because he is the most supportive dad and choir practices and events. He’s
our rock and we are grateful for all he does for our family.

Rachelle/me, I completed a goal I made 2 years ago, check my previous blog entry to get more detail but
I was able to climb Mount Timpanogos. I am still in awe that I did THAT! Tim and I did a lot of little hikes all
summer to get better prepared. It was fun! I stay busy with PTA at the elementary school, being secretary
in the Relief Society (the womens organization in our church), watching my grandbaby Adrian on Wednesdays,
Family History and supporting my kids in their activities. I do yoga everyday to keep my back and me
happy :).

Please know we have many challenges but compared to so many who have much more difficult challenges they seem insignificant but nevertheless they are significant to us. Yet some are very personal and we do not share them here so please don't compare our lives with your life. Just know we each have our own road to travel with it's hills and valleys and rivers to cross.

We have missed Tim’s dad this holiday season and at family events but you know sometimes
he feels close by. I feel my dad close by as well at important family events. I know our loved
ones, who have passed on, are near,  loving and supporting us in ways we can’t understand
right now. This is all possible because of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He gave Himself so
that death isn’t the end but another transition in our life. We will be reunited with those we
love because of Him. We can feel peace and love during our challenges because of His
atonement, he literally suffered all we have suffered physical, mental, etc. He knows and
knows how to bless us. We just have to trust Him, something I am learning over and over
again. This is why we sing ”Joy to the World the Lord has come!” ans celebrate His birth
because He gives meaning to our life and our trials. If you haven’t felt Him in your life
please turn to Him in a simple prayer and He will be there. He doesn’t force but waits for
us to reach out to Him although He does send messages to us all the time that He loves us as
does His Father, our Heavenly Father. Our happiness and peace are their concern, you feel it
when you desire to help another that’s when they work through us to bless others and it’s
such a great feeling to help others. We feel loved and we feel the love they have for Heavenly
Father’s children. Please know you are loved and important to all those around you and to our
Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ! My family and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and
an amazing New Year!

Love, Rachelle and Tim and the yips

PS If you are dying for more pictures check out my Instagram or Facebook.

Friday, November 30, 2018

I Did It!

At the saddle with Katie, Tim, Gwen, Em, Zane, Timo & Megan

At the summit, in the shack signing our names in the book! 

We saw lots of mountain goats and this one walked right next to me!

This moose was eating on the trail and stopped us for 20 minutes or so. There was a big group of us waiting for him and his family to move. This was about an hour from the end of the trail.

Hiking Mount Timpanogos
     Two years ago I made the goal to hike Timp for my 50th birthday! I had never cared about hiking Timp the whole time I have lived here but my oldest son, Taran said,"Mom you really should hike Timp. I think you would really like it." I do like hiking but Timp never appealed to me until he said I should do it. So I decided I would work towards that goal. Well, a year later I did some hikes like we do in the summer with the goal to do harder hikes over the summer so by August I could hike it. Part way through summer my back started bothering me and walking was painful. I decided I was not going to be ready to hike Timp that year because of my back issue. I started doing yoga every day consistently and running on the elliptical and my back got better. I even was doing a 5 minute plank routine 3-5 days a week. These all helped and when this summer came I felt like my back was stronger. I wasn't totally sure until July I had this major desire to really train/prepare myself to hike it. I looked up tips on the internet and I found some great ideas. I would walk up hill for 3 days a week. I started at 30 minutes and worked up to 1 hour. I would go up and down the hill above my house as many times as I could in the amount of time. Tim came with me most days. the other 3 days I ran on the elliptical I started out at 45 minutes and got up to 2 hours. Endurance is what everyone warned me. They said that I was strong enough and I would be able to make it but that I should be mentally prepared because it is long. We planned to go in August but we had to postpone it until September 1st. It was the best day for all of us and even then Taran and Lisa couldn't come, they were sick.
   The night before the hike we tried to go to bed early. I took some cold medicine because I felt like I was getting a cold. It wore off and made me wired. So I didn't sleep well. Tim did give me a blessing the night before because I was anxious. I felt like everything was going to be fine but I would see that I could rely on Heavenly Father that I could do hard things. We got up at 5 AM and we tried to leave by 5:30 AM but by the time we got to the trailhead after parking far away it was 7 AM when we started. It was the perfect day, it started out a little chilly but with layers we were all fine. It was beautiful. Gwen, our 11 yr old, had a rough time at the beginning. She was back with Tim and I and he was ready to take her to the car. I asked her if she wanted to have a blessing so Tim gave her a blessing right there on the trail. After that she went up with her siblings and was totally fine. We just bring out the worst in her , jk. Tim and I both like taking pictures and taking in the scenery so we lagged behind but they would wait for us when they took a break. We made it to the saddle by noon. That was pretty cool. We ate lunch at the saddle and took pictures. I felt great! We decided to summit. This is where I was challenged. I am afraid of heights. At the saddle I barely looked down because it made me feel like my legs were noodlely. The first part to the summit wasn't bad until we turned the corner. I had to hug the rock and I was crying I was so scared. I asked Tim, "Do you think I can do this?" As I looked up at the crazy summit ahead. It terrified me and he said, honestly,"I don't know." Well, thanks honey for the confidence. I prayed and Heavenly Father reminded me that my friend WendyJo, who was bedridden at the time, would love to have a choice to even hike let alone summit. My mom had given me a green t-shirt to wear because she wanted to come but it was not physically possible for her. The other thought I had is I would regret not doing it. So on I climbed singing the hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour".  I would think of my friend and my mom, make deep yoga breaths and climb on. People kept saying, "You're almost there!" who were on their way back but we were still a ways off! It became annoying. I told Tim that I wish they would stop saying that! He just laughed. Tim helped me and we made it. I don't remember what time but I was so proud of myself! I still can't believe I made it. The way back was faster. And I told people, "Keep going! You got this!"When we got stopped by the moose that is when the endurance also had to kick in. My legs became like lead because we had to just stand around waiting for it to move. It had a baby so it made it scary we didn't want the bull or mom to charge us. Once we started back it was slow going for me. It was another hour and I had to concentrate on going forward. Tim stayed with me, he's my best guy! 
  I am so thankful to Timo, Megan, Emily, Zane, Gwen and my sister-in-law Katie for coming with us. It was great sharing this goal completion with them. I am so proud of Gwen for doing something challenging like this at her age. She told me that she did it because she loves me. That made my day! I was only a little sore the next day and I only lost one toenail! It's the one I lost on trek too! My shoes are great it's just that this toe is the longer one so it gets all the downhill pressure.
  I grew up afraid of failing and so I didn't try very many things that I couldn't succeed at. Now that I am older I have found greater satisfaction in challenging myself in ways that I can fail and that is okay and it's okay to say maybe right now I can't do it but maybe later. I know my Savior and Heavenly Father were there with me on that mountain inspiring me to keep going. I know that if they can help me climb a freaking mountain they can help me with any problems I face. My husband Tim is my rock always, even of he didn't know I could do it because he knows how afraid of heights I am! I have the best people in my life. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I am trying to think of what I can do next year to learn or challenge myself....

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pew Family 2017 Year in Review

Pew Family 2017 Year in Review

Here we are again counting down to Christmas and a New Year...this year Tim and I turned 50. That definitely makes one stop and ponder what you have done, experienced and goals for the next 50 or so. Honestly, as I get older I really don't want to live to be 100 just healthy until I go, right?

We hope this finds you happy, healthy and where you want to be at this time in your life, If not, that is the beauty of Jesus Christ. He makes it possible for each of us to change, heal and progress. May you find his peace and love this holiday season.

Here's some of what we've been up to:

Gwen is 11 (5th grade) and still likes hugs and snuggles which we are grateful. She started sewing lessons this summer and has continued to take them this fall, She really enjoys it and made her new nephew an elephant. She still plays the piano and continues to progress in that. She was in gymnastics until she injured her foot this summer—stress fracture. She is not interested in anything competitive but hopes to start doing a musical theater class in January. She loves being an auntie and pirates (as in Caribean) and animals.

Zane is 14 (8th grade) is one of our consistent kids at doing what he supposed to when he supposed to do it! He has loved playing on the Lone Peak Ultimate Frisbee Middle School team. They won the state championship last spring and won all their fall tournaments. He tried out for the U15 Utah YCC team for Ultimate Frisbee and made it. He and Tim traveled to Washington to play in a West Best Tournament. This is the first year Utah has had a team for U15 and they took 2nd only losing to the championship team. He had a great experience despite the bad weather.

Micah is 15 (10th grade) looking forward to 16 to drive and date! He is enjoying high school and making new friends, going to parties and sporting events. He enjoyed playing on the 9th grade basketball team at Mountain Ridge earlier in the year. He also plays Ultimate Frisbee and played on the Lone Peak boys B team last spring and enjoyed traveling with the team to a tournament in Colorado. They had fun and played well. This fall he made the boys A team which he's pretty happy about and was on the Mixed (Co-Ed) B team. They did pretty well despite injuries. He looks forward to this spring playing with Izak.

Izak is 17 (12th grade) and he is looking forward to graduating. He spends most of his time playing Ultimate Frisbee on the boys A team and this fall Mixed A team. He is one of the 3 captains and truly cares about his teammates. They traveled to Oregon and Georgia for tournaments and had a great time and did well. They came in 2nd at state which was disappointing but Ultimate Frisbee has become more popular these last few years and made it much more competitive. Their mixed team also came in 2nd at State. He also works at Little Caesar's with half the Ultimate Frisbee team. He also enjoys the school dances and dating in general, he is very social.

Emily is 20 and serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is having a great experience overall: sometimes hard and sometimes funny or both but very rewarding. She is currently training. If you want to read about some of her adventures check out her blog at:

Timo and Megan exiting the temple
Timo is 23 and married! He got married last spring in the Portland, Oregon temple to Megan Gunn. He met Megan in his BYU ward his first year after his mission. Magic happened last fall friendship turned to more and they decided within a couple of weeks after Christmas they wanted to get married. We love Megan and are happy to have her in the family. They are both in school at BYU. Timo is applying for a bachelors/masters program in Stats (I am not sure of the exact name you can ask him). They both work as teachers assistants in their majors.
all the siblings minus Emily

4 generations

          Taran is 24 and a dad! Taran and Lisa recently became parents of the cutest baby boy Adrian! Adrian was born November 2nd, 2017. He's growing healthy and Lisa is recovering well from her c-section. Taran is currently working full-time for Nu Skin and a team leader. They gave him a month paternity leave paid which has been really nice. Lisa was also working at Nu Skin until Adrian was born. She is hoping to stay home and be crafty and take care of Adrian. They both were going to school until the fall anticipating the birth of Adrian. They plan on returning to school next year.
Adrian and Mommy Lisa

Rachelle, I am enjoying being a grandma but I prefer to be called Mimzy. I know it might seem weird but I like it. I finished last spring being PTA president at the Elementary school and luckily someone stepped forward to be the president this year! Somehow I knew it would work out. I stayed on the board as the Legislative VP and organized a Meet the Candidates Night for our City candidates. We had a great turn out. I have been able to do more Family History and humanitarian projects which has been very satisfying. I also enjoy helping in Gwen's class and going to the temple. 50 isn't too bad-so far thanks to daily yoga and vitamins!

Tim is enjoying his Mormon Tabernacle Choir experience so far. You can look for him each Sunday in Music and the Spoken Word. They can be accessed on YouTube if you miss it live. He is usually on the first couple of rows on the right side. He has been great at balancing home duties and practices—FYI they have MANY extra events and practices you may not realize. (I didn't have a clue but I am totally good with it.) He plays sports at lunch at work. He continues to work for Family Search and they just moved to their new building out in Lehi by Thanksgiving Point. He is also the best grandpa or G-Pa.

We have had a lot of fun this year seeing Tim in concerts and the Spoken Word.
After Tim's first concert as an official Mormon Tabernacle Choir member
Lots of Ultimate Frisbee games which we enjoy—we love our Ultimate Frisbee family. They have blessed us greatly! Hikes, picnics and snowshoeing close by up the canyon. We had a fun trip to Oregon for Timo's wedding, We got to go to Voo Doo donuts
, a lighthouse, the ocean, Multnomah Falls, Tillamook Cheese Factory cafe (the factory usually has tours but was closed for remodeling) besides the Portland temple. It was beautiful. We also enjoyed visiting Thanksgiving Point, The Aquarium and Seven Peaks. We also had some downs like a broken collarbone, stress fractures, leaking bathrooms and other challenges. Challenges make us notice our blessings and draw us to God our Father and His son Jesus Christ. Our greatest treasures are our relationships which we have been richly blessed. The Gospel of Jesus Christ actually is the greatest blessing which brings meaning to our lives and relationships.
Cape Meares Lighthouse

Much love to you! The Pews

to see videos from Emily's mission, Izak's greatest and other stuff we save there!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pew Year In Review 2016

Pew Year in Review 2016

Another year BAM! Why is it when you are a kid you feel like the years take forever? I am pretty sure first grade was almost 2 years. But maybe that’s because Mrs. Roman didn’t like me. When you have a bunch of kids or I bet even one kid or a just a dog, life can get pretty crazy. Most of the time it’s a good crazy. I am grateful for a husband who is helpful and supportive because it’s usually me volunteering for craziness. We took some breaks for pure fun by heading to California with my family the day after school got out. We rented a Ford Transit Van (just for our family), it was sweet! We went to my paternal grandparents’ graves in Camarillo. It’s a lovely place and I had never been there. We also went to Naples and kayaked to some moon jellyfish. They aren’t poisonous so some people in our group touched them. Not me. We also went to Huntington Beach, the water was still pretty cold so we briefly played in the water. Timo brought his Spikeball game so he and the guys played that a lot. We went to Disneyland

 two days and Universal Studios one day.  The point was to see Harry Potter’s wizarding world that had just opened. It’s not as big as the one in Florida but still was magical. We hope they add to it in the future! We went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame but we ended up going to the Santa Monica Pier instead. It was less sketchy. We stopped in St. George on our way back and enjoyed relaxing at the pool. And drove home early Sunday morning so we could return the Transit Van on time! We had fun during the year visiting Thanksgiving Point Gardens, the Museum of Curiosity, The Museum of Ancient Life (Dinosaur) and the Farm too. Seven Peaks waterslide park with cousins and also Trafalga for mini golf, lazertag and rides. We also went up the canyon for fun adventures. Not to mention all the sports and shows the kids were involved in. We have a lot to be thankful for. If you want to keep reading here is what each of us has been up to in 2016:
Gwen (10) is in 4th grade this year. One of her highlights this year was being in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Lone Peak High School. They had a children’s chorus from students from the elementary schools in 5th and 6th grade that feed into the high school. Her director of Singer’s Company invited her and other Singer’s Company girls to be in Joseph because she was the musical director for Joseph. Gwen knows a lot of the students at Lone Peak in drama because of Emily so it was super fun for her to be in it with Emily. The show was fantastic, and I am not exaggerating because I saw it at BYU over 25 years ago and thought ,”That is one strange musical.” And never desired to watch it again. It was so funny and fun. Gwen is still taking piano and does well with it. She is still doing gymnastics but is no longer doing Singer’s Co. because Miss DeLayne isn’t doing it anymore. She did a little song and dance with girls from our neighborhood for a church variety show and loved it--they did Hard Knock Life. It was so cute and well done. She misses being in a show so I may need to find a group for her to join. She loves singing show tunes (as in musical show tunes) with Emily, and playing with dragons. She is fun and full of love and hugs that never get old.
Zane (13) is in 7th grade and started junior high and I think he’s almost enjoying it! I think some classes he likes and others not so much. He is still taking piano lessons which he doesn’t like but he’s diligent and reliable to do it. He’s the one kid we don’t have to remind: he does his homework AND turns it in! He started playing on the Lone Peak Middle School Ultimate Frisbee team this fall and loved it. It’s been so good for him to learn to be positive and have good sportsmanship. He also has skills so it’s been a good thing for him to participate in. He went on his first scout camp this summer and had a good experience. He works hard on his merit badge stuff and everything even though he really doesn’t like scouts. He will be a Life scout soon. He’s in Men’s Hip Hop and I look forward to their dance recital in December. He’s still the biggest BYU fan. And he still loves Legos. So if he’s not playing Ultimate, football or basketball he’s playing Legos. He’s a funny kid and I love how responsible and good he is.
Micah (14) is in 9th grade. He is now the tallest in the family. He flaunts the fact enough to bug all of us. Owell.In other news he made the 9th grade basketball team at Mountain Ridge. He’s not a starter but he’s grateful to have a chance to play. He also played Ultimate Frisbee this fall. He is currently on the boys B team for Lone Peak but there are 2 spots open on A team still and he would love to be on it. He’s pretty young so we’ll see. He’s made some new friends this year and having lots of fun with them. He went on a week long scout camp to Wind Rivers Wyoming last summer. They actually got up to the Continental Divide! He said that it was hard but it was worth it. He’s a good student when he isn’t being the class clown. He’s the first to help me when I am bringing in groceries or super busy. So with all the goofiness he has a nice good side.
Izak (16) is in 11th grade. He also is playing on Lone Peak’s Ultimate Frisbee team and he is on the boys A team.  He’s pretty excited about that. He loves his teammates and coaches and enjoys the girls who were on his mixed team this fall. The season just ended until February. It’s been fun for him to have both his younger brothers playing. He got his license last spring so it’s been nice to have him drive them to practice. He went to Camp Helaman this summer for scout camp and they built a raft out of milk jugs and some other cool stuff. He also went to Southern Utah with the youth his age from our church. He had a lot of fun on that and Emily went with him. He also has a job at Arctic Circle. It’s growing on him now that he has made friends and he knows what he is doing. He’s enjoying school dances. He went to Homecoming and Sadies. He has a lot of fun whatever he is doing. He’s taking AP US History and Honors Math but I think his other classes are pretty low key overall. He’s just been so busy but now with ultimate frisbee being done for awhile he is going to play Jr Jazz and have time to organize his eagle project, I hope! He’s a good friend and cares a lot about his friends so sometimes scouts and keeping his room clean are not priorities!
Emily (19) graduated last spring from high school. She had a fun senior year! She had a musical revue with her Drama Productions company and had to stage kiss--I laughed every night. Her brothers were disgusted. She was in movie knight with the chamber choir kids--no kissing there. She went to New York City with Chamber Choir and loved all the shows she saw: Wicked, Phantom and Matilda. Matilda was her favorite. She got sick but awesome parents on the tour helped her out.They sang in Carnegie Hall while they were there, very cool. I am glad she was well enough to do it. She got to go to Florida to Universal Studios (spent all day in the Harry Potter part)  and Disney World with her Drama Productions group and they performed at DisneyWorld. They had a workshop with Disney World and they wanted her to audition to work there!  She had decided she was going on a mission this fall so she didn’t. She made some great friends this year that helped her through some tough things. After our trip she got a job at O’Crowley’s Irish Tacos. The food is good and she likes the people she works with. She turned in her mission papers and it seemed like forever until they came back. Her mission call actually came while she was doing some fun hiking and stuff with the youth from our church down in Southern Utah. So she waited until the Sunday after she got home to open it. She is called to the Columbia, South Carolina mission. She had the original Missionary Training Center date of November 9th but she had it moved back because she ended up having surgery on her ankle the end of August. After hiking in Southern Utah she felt like something wasn’t right and she should have her foot checked before leaving on her mission. They found a divot in her ankle bone caused by trauma--it’s hurt her off and on over the past 2 years so we aren’t sure when the trauma happened or if it was multiple traumas. Anyway, the surgery went well and she was healing well, ahead of time but she decided to delay because she felt like it was too weak. I was relieved when she shared her decision. She was reassigned to December 14th. We all felt good about that. So at this writing she has less than a month when she will be leaving! She went back to work as soon as she could and has been going to physical therapy and doing yoga and walking to strengthen it. My parents were in Kauai for 3 weeks in November and she went over there and spent time with them. She had a great experience and feels ready for her mission more than ever. It was hard to put off when she just wanted to GO! But I think she is learning some great things during this time. She’s going to be great because her testimony of Jesus Christ is very strong.
Timo (22) is in his 2nd year at BYU. He earned a full tuition scholarship after last year for his hard work. He is still working at BYU Mail Services. He saved and bought himself a used car. His major is Stats with a minor in psychology (I think). He made lots of good friends last year and then moved out with his high school friends in the spring to an apartment off campus. He has made new friends and is still having fun with his friends from last year. It was fun to have him with us on our trip to California. He missed last time we went so he got to have fun with us until he had to fly back for his roommate, Gabe’s, wedding. He went camping with friends and to St. George with friends.After finals he’s flying to San Antonio to visit friends from his mission, the day Emily goes into the MTC. He has a tough schedule this fall and hopes to keep all his scholarships when it’s over. We always enjoy when he comes home with his friends for dinner and we play games after.  
Taran (23) did not go to school this fall. He’s a senior who is still figuring out what he wants to do. He got a fulltime job at NuSkin after going full-time at BYU last year. His band was busy with different gigs and venues including Battle of the Bands. We can’t always go but it’s fun to watch them. He and Lisa are doing well and just moved into a bigger apartment. And then their car died so they are saving up for a vehicle. That’s what they are getting for Christmas :). They were able to come with us to California. Actually Taran had to work the first part of the trip so he flew down. His wife Lisa went the whole trip with us. She had never been to Disneyland so it was fun to take her. He is signed up for a class next semester. I think he’s settled on Spanish. He and Lisa helped Emily take care of the kids while Tim and I were out of town. They are lots of fun to hang out with.
Tim (almost 50) what??? So ya we turn 50 this coming year. He continues to keep active playing tennis, basketball and ultimate frisbee at lunch. He is a manager of QA for Family Search. He just found out a couple of weeks ago that he made it into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! He will start out in the Training Choir in January, they rehearse Tuesday and Thursday nights. These are mandatory through April. Look for him during April General Conference he might be singing! By the way, it was a three part process which was grueling and I am so proud of him!!!!  It’s one of the few things he’s ever really wanted to do. We celebrated our 25th Anniversary this summer. Well, actually I am not sure if we really did do anything that day exactly because we knew were going to Disneyland! Tim had a conference in the fall for work at the Disneyland Hotel! I had a free flight from my Delta AmEx. So practically free. We paid for our Disneyland tickets and other things we did. We had a fantastic time and if you want to know more of what we did ask us!

Rachelle (also almost 50) so this year has been interesting. I had helped with the Drama Parents group at the high school and that came to an end with Emily’s graduation. I enjoy being involved. Well no worries I am the PTA President at our elementary school.  It’s been great I have great people to work with. My president elect had to step down and I haven’t been able to find anyone to replace her. So I may be president one more year. Luckily most of my board is willing to join me another year so that’s a twist I wasn’t quite ready for! I still help with the choir at the high school and in other things as I can. I am still doing cub scouts but now I am in the WEBELOS den.They are the same boys I had last year it’s so fun! Hopefully they aren’t sick of me. This summer I realized that I needed to get into better shape and stop being lazy. I am active but I also came to find out I was eating 3 times the suggested servings on most things--YIKES. I am lucky I wasn’t bigger and in worse shape. I enlisted God’s help and He came through. He inspired me with a lifestyle change-- not a diet or special exercise for a limited time. Something I can do FOREVER. And it’s working. I am so grateful. I have lost over 20 pounds since I started on July 7th. This has been handy because my back has been having problems and after an MRI I found out I have a bulging disc same one I had to have surgery on 9 years ago. I had an epidural and it’s helped some. The chiropractor has also been very helpful and my daily yoga. So I am hoping no surgery this time. My Aunt Bev, my dad's sister passed away in September. I feel blessed to have been with her before she passed with my sister and cousins. She will be missed but she was suffering so it was a tender mercy.

Well that’s it for a year. I have personally felt lifted and guided during my challenges this year by Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I know they love us and want to help us we just need to reach out to them. We hope you have a great Christmas and fantastic New Year!

Much love, Rachelle and the rest of Pews